Examples: [Collected via e-mail, December 2009]
Summary: Van Barfoot was briefly barred by his local homeowners' association from erecting a flagpole outside his home back in 2009. The situation was quickly rectified, however, and Barfoot has since passed away, hence the appeal cited above entreating recipients to support his cause is now outdated.
Origins: Van Thurman Barfoot was a retired United States Army officer who received the Medal of Honor, the United States military's highest decoration, for his actions in Italy during World
In December 2009 Van T. Barfoot (then
Barfoot had sought permission to install the pole shortly after he moved into the community — a complex of townhouses where the grounds are community property — last June. The board denied his request in July.
But Barfoot and his family say there is no provision in Sussex Square's rules that forbids erecting flagpoles. And for Barfoot, that's a cause worth fighting for.
"There's never been a day in my life or a place I've lived in my life that you couldn't fly the American flag," Barfoot said in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
In February 2010, the Virginia Senate approved a bill to bar homeowners associations from prohibiting display of the U.S. flag:
The bill was prompted by a case in Henrico County last year, in which a homeowners association barred a
Stuart, R-Westmoreland, said that made him angry. His bill would allow homeowners to "properly display" the flag according to federal rules. A homeowners association that wants to ban the flying of a flag would have to prove that it would create "substantial harm" to the community.
"What I've tried to do with this bill is strike a balance between the interests of the individual and his or her right to display a flag and the community itself," Stuart said. "It's my belief this should certainly be a fundamental right, to fly the flag of your country properly in accordance with the flag code."
The Senate General Laws Committee approved the bill unanimously, with no questions and no one stepping forward to speak against it.
Last updated: 5 March 2012
Davis, Chelyen. "Senate Panel Unanimously Passes Bill on Flying Flag." The [Fredericksburg] Free Lance-Star. 4 February 2010. Goldstein, Richard. "Van Barfoot, Medal of Honor Recipient, Dies at 92." The New York Times. 4 March 2012. McKelway, Bill. "Medal of Honor Recipient Draws Support in Fight for Flagpole." Richmond Times-Dispatch. 3 December 2009. FOXNews.com. "Decorated Veteran, 90, Fights to Raise Flag in His Yard." 3 December 2009.